Ronde’s Year?

May 8th, 2019

BY IRA KAUFMAN

It should have been his day.

Once again, Ronde Barber has been overlooked. He’s used to it by now, seven years after he made his final tackle and defended his last pass for the Buccaneers.

Barber will become the newest member of the team’s Ring of Honor this fall, celebrated in a halftime ceremony during the Week 3 home matchup against the Giants.

He’ll be surrounded by friends, family and teammates, soaking in a joyous occasion. Once again, Buc fans will be reminded of a defense that was so good for so long, a time when Buc tickets were scarce and big plays were abundant.

But Tuesday’s announcement was overshadowed by the somber news that Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a neck injury last week that leaves his NFL career in jeopardy. For a player whose timing on the field was sublime, Barber can’t seem to find his proper moment in the limelight.

Barber is well deserving of the Ring of Honor, but there’s more to the story. The Glazers are also trying give Barber’s Hall of Fame chances a boost for the Class of 2020, a group which will be selected at Miami on the day before the Super Bowl.

Stalled Candidacy

Unlike John Lynch, who has been a finalist for each of the past six years, Barber’s credentials for Canton have never been discussed in the meeting room.

That’s a damn shame.

Barber has been eligible for two years now, but my fellow Hall of Fame selectors haven’t checked off his name often enough to elevate No. 20 onto the list of 15 modern-era candidates up for consideration.

What’s the holdup?

For those many voters who didn’t see Barber compete on a regular basis, his accomplishments are chalked up to being a good “system” cornerback, surrounded by lots of good players.

And while Barber would be the first to acknowledge that Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, John Lynch and Simeon Rice were indeed difference makers, it was Barber whose majestic career spanned all of these impact players.

It was Barber who was the best player on the field in the biggest game in franchise history, the historic victory in Philadelphia that advanced the Bucs into the Super Bowl. All Barber did that day was force a fumble, successfully defend four passes and return a Donovan McNabb interception 92 yards for the clinching score.

Speaking of touchdowns, the only players in NFL history with more non-offensive TDs than Barber are Devin Hester, Deion Sanders and Rod Woodson.

Finish The Job

The Bucs made a strong push for Barber’s candidacy last year, sending out a highlight video to every Hall of Fame selector. The organization will be back at it this fall, trying to change hearts and minds and generate the respect Barber deserves.

While others foolishly label Barber a system corner, I see skill and intelligence in equal measure. I used to call him the smartest football player in the league. Nobody broke down film with more insight, helping Barber post 47 picks, 28 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, 1,028 tackles and 197 passes defended.

Those are extraordinary numbers, but there’s more.

We’re talking about the most durable defensive back in NFL annals, a guy who went the final 13 years of his career without missing a game.

Don’t think Barber wasn’t hurt at many points during that incredible streak, but he played through the pain and he played at a very high level.

With Troy Polamalu the only first-time eligible headliner for the Class of 2020, there is an opportunity for Lynch and Barber to add another pewter bust or two in Canton. In 2021, Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson come along as sure-fire newbies, so the time is now.

The Ring of Honor is a heck of a start. Soon, it will be up to my fellow Hall of Fame voters to finish the job.


Derrick Brooks Talks About The Bucs’ “Gang Of 5;” It’s A New TAMPA TWO! Count on the Bucs rookies this year? Turn the focus to the non-rookies. That’s the meat of today’s episode with Derrick Brooks and Sage JoeBucsFan.com columnist Ira Kaufman. It’s all presented by Caldeco Air Conditioning and Heating. Great stuff from The Identity Tampa Bay and JoeBucsFan. Enjoy!!

22 Responses to “Ronde’s Year?”

  1. 813bucboi Says:

    realist

    it doesnt matter what happens in 2019!!!!!!!!!!

    the “real” fans will give BA and the staff a pass!!!!!!!!

    OMG!!!!!!….its another realist repost!!!!!!!!
    **************************************************************

    The Buc Realist Says:
    June 21st, 2018 at 6:48 pm
    Huge pass to the coaching staff issued by the “real” Buc fans!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!
    **************************************************************

    so there you have it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    huge pass to the coaching staff issued by the “REAL” fans!!!!!!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  2. Steven007 Says:

    813, you’re attracted to Realist’s juvenile stench just like I’m attracted to trollmax’s senile stench! Haha. Keep it up. I’ve never seen a sheep loving Bucs fan get so horny over exclamation points. 😅

  3. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    813 one of my fav

  4. Rod Munch Says:

    Best cover 2 corner ever… and people say that as a knock. The cover 2/Tampa 2 was the most important defense of that era, and he was the best at the position in that scheme.

  5. DB55 Says:

    Sorry guys Ronde’s a great buc and all but he’s not hof worthy just yet.

    If Steve Atwater and many others more worthy (imo) haven’t made it yet then Barber might have to wait a decade or two but wtfdik

    Atwater
    2× Super Bowl champion (XXXII, XXXIII)
    8× Pro Bowl (1990–1996, 1998)
    2× First-team All-Pro (1991, 1992)
    Second-team All-Pro (1996)
    2x UPI First Team All-AFC (1993, 1995)
    NFL 1990s All-Decade Team

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    Ira – you need to be harping on another important point to these apparent know-nothings in the HOF voting room regarding Ronde Barber…

    Namely that Barber was literally the prototype for the modern day slot/at the line DB. Everybody is looking for that CB or Safety that can play tough,effectively blitz the QB, stuff the run and still blanket your slot receiver.

    Players like that are hard to find and Ronde literally wrote the book on that role/position…

  7. unbelievable Says:

    Seriously, he changed the fkn game at that position. System my a$$, how many other defenders have gotten in from defenses that ran the Tampa-2? Lots.

    He has numbers that no other cornerback has in history. AND he has a ring.

    C’mon Ira! Get this man in the Hall where he belongs!

  8. Bucnjim Says:

    You forgot one thing about Ronde that has ALWAYS been overlooked….He was tough as HELL!! Just like the rest of that defense Ronde would knock the crap out of players and then let them know about it. Pretty sure he never apologized for taking that INT to the house while smiling at McNabb all the way to the end zone.

  9. Cannon Says:

    Remember when we had the best defense in the league?

    Pepperidge Farm remembers.

  10. Bucnjim Says:

    Unbelievable,
    You are right even though he was a system CB he was the BEST EVER at that position and I will always wear that #20 Jersey with pride because of the player on the field and the man off the field! His numbers (all of them) speak for themselves.

  11. Rod Munch Says:

    DB55 – Different positions, and they should be judged differently, but there’s no reason Atwater shouldn’t go in. The HOF has some weird ideas on safeties – and I don’t get why so few are in the hall.

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    Another fight should be Rice, the guy is 20th all time in sacks, and is barely talked about. He should at the very least be getting more hype than he’s got over the years.

    Another name no one talks about and people think is a joke when I bring it up, but Warrick Dunn should at least get a mention. Dunn is 20th all time in yards from scrimmage. That fatso Bettis is 25th in yards from scrimmage. Now do I think Dunn is a HOF’er? Well, no. But if Bettis and Curtis Martin are in, then why exactly is Dunn excluded when he has the numbers to get him in?

  13. Dave Says:

    DB55-
    Different positions. Atwater deserves to be in, and if he deserves it, so does John Lynch, yet neither one of them are yet.
    As for cornerbacks, barber absolutely deserves to be in. For a few years I was not so sure but I am now. His versatility and toughness are key.

    He played man and zone and in the slot and that safety. He has a lot of interceptions, a lot of touchdowns, a lot of sacks and a lot of forced fumbles.

    He was a football player.

    The “system” argument is idiotic. Every single defense out there is some sort of system. How many times do you hear about coaches fitting their defense or offense to their players or general managers drafting players that fit their system?
    It makes no sense that is used as a negative towards Ronde Barber

  14. tmaxcon Says:

    i was wondering if you could help me out how many coaches in the hall of fame have a career losing postseason record????

  15. Joe Says:

    was wondering if you could help me out how many coaches in the hall of fame have a career losing postseason record????

    Seven.

  16. tmaxcon Says:

    Joe Says:
    May 8th, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    was wondering if you could help me out how many coaches in the hall of fame have a career losing postseason record????

    Seven.

    and that is why the hall of fame is meaningless… if you can’t win when it matters most how do you belong in the hall of fame with the best of the best????

  17. tmaxcon Says:

    scoreboard matters feelings don’t

  18. jjbucfan Says:

    OFF Topic- Ansah to Seahawks

  19. TampaTown Says:

    “System” corner means you didn’t watch Bucs games because you had your head up the NFC East’s a$$. You heard someone else say it and you put it in your notes and repeat it- fake news- so you don’t have to do your own research. I’m talking to you HOF voters. Ira- you’re doing God’s work for small market teams. Keep fighting the good fight.

  20. D-Rome Says:

    What a fantastic article and I agree on all points! Ronde Barber is a Hall of Famer. Period. End of story.

  21. Phil Says:

    Simeon Rice should be the next Buccaneer in the hall.

  22. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Ronde doesn’t deserve it with his anti-Jameis announcing on Fox. He’s been overly critical of a future hall of famer and therefore isn’t deserving of being in the Hall. Until Ronde changes his Jameis Bashing ways, the Hall will not open its doors to him.

 

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